We are the young…

December 17, 2023

This year, the COP witnessed an increased number of young Pakistani climate delegates

We are the young…


he role of youth delegates in promoting the rights and voices of vulnerable groups is becoming ever-important as the international community and leaders struggle with the pressing need for climate action. Pakistani youth delegates made a strong impression at the 28th Conference of the Parties in Dubai by fervently advocating on behalf of the people who are most impacted by climate change. Undeterred by the difficulties brought on by climate inequities, young people in Pakistan seized the chance to raise awareness about the situation of vulnerable populations.

These delegates acknowledge that marginalised groups, including women, children and indigenous people, are disproportionately affected by climate change, which intensifies already existing inequities. They are committed to making sure that these marginalised groups’ concerns are heard and that significant steps are implemented.

Promoting gender parity in climate policies is one of Jajaa Jaggi’s main goals, as an International Youth Climate Delegate from Pakistan at the annual UN conference. Given that women are frequently the ones who experience the worst effects of climate change, she stresses how crucial it is to include gender views in climate action policies. To ensure a more just and sustainable future, she advocates for inclusive and gender-responsive policies that enable women to actively participate in climate adaptation and mitigation initiatives.

The delegates have interacted with stakeholders and policymakers to push for more funding for communities that are at risk. Shajeea Khalid says funding for climate change initiatives should go towards helping people who are most directly impacted by the climate crisis. By advocating for transparent and accountable financial institutions, Shajeea works to ensure that funds designated for climate adaptation and mitigation reach the grassroots level, where they are most needed.

We are the young…

By prioritising concerns of vulnerable groups — such as women, children and indigenous communities, these delegates support a more fair and inclusive strategy for tackling climate change.

The approach used by the Pakistani delegation at COP28 has reflected a larger global trend towards youth mobilisation and empowerment. Since they will bear the brunt of today’s decisions, younger activists are urging more aggressive and expedient climate action. Their initiatives also highlight how crucial it is for nations to work together to confront the many issues that climate change presents. Youth delegates help to create a sense of shared responsibility and bridges between nations by actively engaging in the global discourse. They emphasise that climate change knows no borders and that a unified, collective effort is essential to combat its effects and protect vulnerable populations worldwide.

Young delegates have also drawn attention to the difficulties children experience as a result of climate change. Twelve-year-old ecopreneur Emaan Danish Khan has been drawing attention to the importance of education and awareness campaigns that equip children with capacity building to tackle climate-related problems. Emaan wants to encourage children to actively participate in establishing environmentally conscious policies by promoting children’s engagement.

Indigenous communities are often on the frontlines of climate impacts. Delegates from northern Pakistan have stressed the importance of respecting and incorporating indigenous knowledge in climate action plans, recognising the unique perspectives these communities bring to sustainable practices. By acknowledging and integrating indigenous voices, the delegates aim to forge a path towards more resilient and culturally sensitive climate policies.

The increased number of young Pakistanis attending a COP is indicative of a rising understanding of the influence that the youth will have in determining the direction of climate action in the future. By prioritising concerns of vulnerable groups — such as women, children and indigenous communities, these delegates support a more fair and inclusive strategy for tackling climate change. As they advocate for gender-responsive policies, youth engagement, indigenous knowledge and transparent financial mechanisms, the Pakistani youth delegates have embodied the spirit of collaboration and urgency needed to tackle the global climate crisis.

The writer is a climate justice ambassador at Plant-for-the-Planet Initiative and a training facilitator at The Climate Fresk. He is also part of the Climate Science, Global Shaper and Climate Reality Community

We are the young…